Tourism in Israel is one of the most important components of the country's budget. The tourism industry caters to both Israelis and foreign visitors. The abundance of archaeological and architectural monuments of the "Promised Land", beach areas of the three seas, health resorts and a warm climate make tourism to Israel attractive.
The bulk of tourists came to Israel from Europe - more than 63% of the inbound flow, including 16.3% from Russia. In second place is America North and South - more than 25% of the inbound flow, including 18.3% of tourists from the United States.
The industry employs 195 thousand people 2013 - 6% of the number of people employed in the Israeli economy.
The abolition of the visa regime between Russia and Israel has led to a rapid growth in the tourist flow to the country. In the first three months of 2010, nearly 114,000 Russian tourists visited Israel. Thus, Russia has become the second country in the world in terms of the number of tourists visiting Israel, after the United States. However, the level of attendance in a country is influenced by the security situation. The Second Lebanese War and the economic crisis caused some slowdown in the tourism industry. The visa regime with Ukraine was canceled on February 9, 2011, Israel hopes for a twofold increase in the number of tourists.
An additional positive factor for tourism from the countries of the former USSR is the presence in Israel of a large Russian-speaking community of more than 1. million people, therefore it is quite easy for a Russian-speaking tourist who does not know foreign languages to perfectly navigate the country. There are Russian-language sites on the Internet, the subject of which is tourism in Israel, which include useful tips and interesting tourist routes.
Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from all over the world visit Israel every year, the main purposes of the pilgrimage are the cities of Jerusalem, Nazareth, Bethlehem. The Wailing Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the golden Dome of the Rock attract pilgrims of the three Abrahamic religions to Jerusalem.
In addition, the city of Haifa is the spiritual center of the Bahá'í religion, where the tomb of the founder of the religion, Sayyid Ali Muhammad Shirazi, is located.
The Dead Sea is a natural health resort that helps with many diseases, especially skin and rheumatic diseases. The combination of minerals with warm, sunny weather, mud baths and clean air saturated with oxygen help to heal many diseases, including skin diseases. The Dead Sea resorts have no analogues in the world due to the exclusivity of this reservoir.
The cool air of Arad helps patients with asthma and other respiratory diseases.
A press conference of Israel Tourism Forum 2019 was held, at which Vladimir Shklyar, Director of the Department of the Ministry of Tourism of Israel in the Russian Federation and the CIS, Counselor of the Israeli Embassy in the Russian Federation and his colleagues shared the news and spoke about their plans for the coming year.
Israel is a favorite destination not only for Muscovites and St. Petersburg residents, but also for residents of all of Russia. You can fly directly to Israel from 7 cities of the Russian Federation: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Krasnodar, Sochi and Mineralnye Vody. At the same time, it is interesting that in the flow of tourists to Israel, residents of Novosibirsk occupy the third place, although there are no direct flights from this city yet.
If we talk about the expansion of the flight program, in October 2019, flights from Rostov-on-Don will resume. Negotiations on flights from Kazan and Novosibirsk are under way. Another good news is that from September a record number of flights will be operated from Moscow to Eilat - up to 16 per week.
A new and very promising area in which the department of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism is interested is the organization of major international competitions. For example, judo, rhythmic gymnastics, triathlon competitions. Vladimir Shklyar also noted that Israel has ideal weather conditions for year-round training of football teams (after all, 9 climatic zones make themselves felt) and for marathons and bicycle races, for example, last year the Giro d'Italia bicycle race was held in Israel. It is one of the three largest races along with the Tour de France and the Vuelta.
Medical tourism continues to develop actively. So in 2019, a new law was passed that protects the rights of tourists - only firms with a state license can provide such services, and a person who goes for treatment now always receives in advance a complete plan of a medical program with an indication of prices.
Yevgenia Russiyanova, representative of the Jerusalem Development Department in Russia and the CIS, also spoke at the press conference. She noted that one of the fastest growing tourist cities in the world is Jerusalem. And this is no coincidence, the city is interesting not only for pilgrims, but also for other tourists who are attracted by the numerous festivals held in the city every month and other events. For example, in October the festival of contemporary art "MANOFIM" will take place, and in November the gastronomic festival "Open restaurants" will be a real paradise for foodies and professional restaurateurs. The festival will overwhelm the whole of Jerusalem and it will be possible not only to taste the national dishes of Israel, the program includes many master classes, concerts and workshops. And in November there will be an international festival of musical discoveries. This is a celebration of young talents, where the best Israeli bands perform in the genres of ethnicity, jazz, rock music, indie, and electronics. This festival will be interesting for everyone who wants to add new music to the player.
The city is trying to become even more comfortable for tourists. For example, it used to be easier to get from Ben Gurion Airport to Tel Aviv, but now there is a high-speed train that takes everyone from the airport to Jerusalem in just 18 minutes. In addition, the City Pass has appeared in Jerusalem, which can be purchased in advance. With its help, you can get a lot of discounts, as well as free travel on public transport. This is really very convenient and allows you to significantly save money.
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